Pastorale is a 2 Michelin star restaurant located in Rumst-Reet, a small town near Antwerp
. Chef Bart De Pooter and his wife Marie-Claire Braem represent the very finest from Flanders and offer an exclusive dining experience in an extraordinaire setting.
The restaurant is established in a former presbytery which is thoughtfully renovated as a grand villa. When entering the restaurant’s door one gets the feeling of traditional luxury but smart and contemporary art makes this restaurant standout from the rest. The interior is mainly black and white and incorporates impressive, colorful art constructions from the Belgian artist Arne Quinze. His conceptual artworks are also presented at the entrance and the garden and give the restaurant a special, cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Bart De Pooter is owner and head chef in Pastorale and also manages WY restaurant in Brussels. Bart was elected Gault&Millau chef of the year in 2012 and he and his team have refined the cooking style of Pastorale for many years now. The chef is always trying to use as little sugar and fat as possible and cooks with seasonal products only. His kitchen is guided by regional and ecological products and is based on freshness, newness, frivolity and transparency.
The level of innovation and playfulness of textures and flavors is also important at Pastorale. The Chef and his team strive to constantly develop new concepts, ideas and recipes. The refinement of the cuisine and the endless securing of the very best produce made this restaurant one of the best in Flanders. Consequently, the place was rewarded with 2 Michelin stars and a 18/20 Gault Millau score.
After our first visit at WY restaurant and the four hands cooking between Bart De Pooter and Xavier Pellicer, the time was ripe to visit Pastorale. Together with co-bloggers Be-Gusto and Coolinary we visited the restaurant on 17/10/2013 and enjoyed the following menu:
Grissini of chickpeas with a humus of chickpeas
Fingerfood: Razor & grapefruit , celery & mussels , marinated eel & lovage
Marinated Scallops with creamy red curry & galanga
Salad of confit duck gizzards, bon bon of scamorza cheese, bulgur
Structures of escargot with garlic, garlic foam and a cream of trumpet de la mort
Aperitif : Champagne Bollinger
Bread, butters & cress to cut
1) Norway lobster tartare with different types of tomatoes and a sorbet of tamarillo
Wine: Loimer, Gruner Veltliner, 2011, Fred Loimer, Kamptal, Austria
2) Sea: Oyster, razors, Algae Sand, cake of mussels, samphire, oyster emulsion
Wine: Ökonomierat Trocken, Riesling, 2011, Rebholz , Pfalz, Germany
3) Sea bream marinated with hibiscus, beetroot, goat cheese, cream of wasabi
Wine: Louro Do Bolo 2010, Godello grape, Valdeorras, Spain
4) Monkfish marinated with house pancetta of curl of pork, sauerkraut and oil of coriander
Wine: Casal Sta Maria, Reserva Branco 2010, Lisboa, Portugal
5) Lacquered Oosterschelde Eel, buckwheat & radish
Wine: Quinto Das Bageiras, Garrafeira, branco 2011, maria gomes & Bical grape, Bairrada, Portugal
6) Wild Partridge, self- picked mushrooms from the clay pit of Rumst, roasted salsify, crosnes (Japanese andoor) and farm roots
Wine: Philippi, Pinot Noir, 2003, Koehler – Ruprecht, Germany
7) Grilled hare back, crumble of black pudding, Brussels sprouts and nashi pear
Wine: Gironia, Biferno Rosso Riserva, 2006, Borgo di Colloredo, Multipulciano & Aglianico, Molise, Italy – Biferno DOC
8) Figs with Roquefort cheese and quince sorbet
Wine: Zull, Beerenauslese, 2006, Riesling
9) Diced figs, cream of poire williams, quince and pears from the garden, roquefort and pear mousse
Wine: Zull, Beerenauslese, 2006, Riesling
10) Sorbet of grapes, raisins, caramel, walnut structures
Wine: Domaine de la Taille aux Loups, Montlouis, Chenin Blanc, 1990
Coffee & sweets
Mignardises with chestnut crumble, bitter chocolate, ice
The wines at Pastorale are of amazing quality and match the dishes flawlessly. The European wine voyage we had with our menu was an unforgettable one – both in quality as in taste – and the sommelier Jon Stalmans shows great expertise through his choices.
The “Belgian Taste Buds” Experience
Pastorale restaurant is one of Belgium’s best dining temples and Bart De Pooter’s dishes are sophisticated, elegant and beautiful works of art. Dining here isn’t cheap, but it surely is an unforgettable experience that combines ultimate luxury, impressive art and amazing food.
Belgian Taste Buds:
– Food Buds 9/10
– Wine Pairing Buds 9/10
– Price/Quality Buds 7.5/10
– Service Buds 8.5/10
– Experience Buds 8.5/10